24After John’s disciples left, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds. “What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind? 25Or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothes? No, people who wear beautiful clothes and live in luxury are found in palaces. 26Were you looking for a prophet? Yes, and he is more than a prophet. 27John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
and he will prepare your way before you.’d
28I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!”
29When they heard this, all the people—even the tax collectors—agreed that God’s way was right,e for they had been baptized by John. 30But the Pharisees and experts in religious law rejected God’s plan for them, for they had refused John’s baptism.
John the Baptist – “I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John.” So who the heck was this guy, and what made him so great?
John lived in wilderness. He wore clothes made of the worst possible material, camel’s hair. It was course, and itchy, and plain disgusting. He ate insects and wild honey. His words were like his cloths and his diet, and they cost him his head. John was crazy…about doing the will of God.
John didn’t care about the things of this world in any way. He completely divested himself of every shred of worldly goods, power and and status. He was totally and complete consumed with his mission from God, which was to prepare people for receiving Jesus.
There are three lessons I need to learn from John’s life and those who ultimately accepted or rejected him.
- God’s mission is the only one that matters, and we should be obsessed with it.
- If John had failed in God’s mission for him, people would have missed Jesus. So it is with us and our mission from God.
- People can still choose, and must choose, whether to accept the truth or not. John could not force the Pharisees the change. We must accept that in the end everyone chooses for themselves the way of the tax collector, or the way of the Pharisee, and everyone includes us.
Holy Spirit give me the courage to choose, moment by moment, the way of the tax collector. Holy Spirit give me the courage to choose the way of John the Baptist, moment by moment.